Fearless sifting and winnowing

The recent protests on several college campuses and the response by the leaders of those institutions have raised important issues that deserve public debate. One of the most important is free speech. The question is whether colleges and universities should allow speech by students, faculty, or outside speakers when some, or even most, of the people find the speech offensive. Some historical perspective, as always, is helpful.  In the late 1800's a University…

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The value of a traditional liberal arts education

A recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, Conservatives, Please Stop Trashing the Liberal Arts, caught my attention. I have long felt I missed learning something important in college. Those gaps left me ill prepared in important ways for work and life. I worked in my field after getting a Masters' Degree from a top university. I have a successful career and a happy life. So I'm not complaining. But college could have been…

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Should we trust our feelings in making moral judgments?

Most of us make most moral judgments quickly based on feelings. We “know” right from wrong, virtue from vice. Few take the time to reason out moral decisions. We just do what we feel is right. Feeling driven moral decisions are easier and faster than following a deliberative, rational, and fact driven process. This approach to making moral or ethical decisions has long been observed. Several moral philosophers, most notably…

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